BY ETIM ETIM
The arrest of Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko, the immediate past Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, this week for money laundering and corruption is a clear evidence of the seriousness of the anti graft agency in prosecuting those involved in the mindless corruption and financial recklessness in our state. This case began in 2018 and it involves some government officials and the immediate past NBA President. Gov Udom Emmanuel was also indicted in this case, but because of his immunity, his trial is being deferred till he leaves office. He is the first, and so far the only sitting governor to be indicted for any crime in Nigeria. Akwa Ibom people are embarrassed by such a badge of dishonor.
The seriousness of the Buhari administration in fighting corruption is not in doubt. Just this week, an APC chieftain and former governor of Imo State was arrested. Many other APC chieftains have been jailed by the EFCC under the Buhari administration for criminal conduct, including corruption. I enjoin the EFCC not to relent in prosecuting all the accused. They must have their day in Court.
Nwoko’s arrest is related to the fraudulent transfer of N1.4billion from the coffers of the state government to the bank account of Gov Udom Emmanuel’s private lawyer. EFCC investigations revealed that Nwoko, who was recently made a SAN and a Life Member of Body of Benchers, was beneficiary of this illicit transaction. It will be interesting to hear his own side of the story.
This writer has been very consistent in writing about the manner this administration is managing our public finances. Financial recklessness, widespread corruption and waste of resources are some of the reasons the government is unable to complete any project despite the huge resources at its disposal. We can only hope that this trial and the impending convictions would serve as a deterrent to others.
I strongly urge the EFCC not to relent in bringing all to the accused persons to Justice.